Bathinda, the administrative headquarters of the Bathinda District
, is a historic city situated 186 km from Amritsar
. (Bathinda is also spelt Bhatinda.) The city, dubbed the ‘city of lakes’, is just 100 km away from India’s border with Pakistan.
Bathinda is steeped in history. Excavations have revealed that the place had settlements even from the
Indus Valley civilization or the Harappan period. After the Rig Vedic Aryan period, the city came under the rule of Guptas and Mauryas. The city was named by Bala Rao in 925 after his caste name. The city is also closely associated with Razia Sultana, the first woman ruler of India. It was here that she was kept under arrest in 1240. Bathinda came under the British administration in the 18th century.
Bathinda holds the distinction of being home to the biggest cantonment in Asia.
Places of tourist interest in and around the town include Bahiya fort, Quila Mubarak, Rose Garden and
Bhatinda Junction Railway Station, one of the biggest railway junctions in Asia, connects Bhatinda with Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh. Nearest airport is at Chandigarh.